Friday, July 31, 2015

Blue Moon Over Duxbury Beach 2015

I called a great audible this afternoon.  I had already locked Demi into drinks on the beach after work.  We tried to invite some friends for an adults only expedition but that didn't pan out.  So on my commute home, I plotted on how to get the boys out with us.  Demi solved the problem.  Offer them food.
     When I walked in the door, I told each of the boys to pick out a sub and be ready to eat on the beach.  No complaints, surprisingly enough.  On the way to the car, they were told, no electronics.  No handhelds, no phones.
     Then I went full boar.  I asked Caz if he knew where he wanted to go to college.  I also told him that "I don't know" was a perfectly acceptable answer.  He didn't know.
     "Do you know what you want to study?"
     "I don't know".  Again, he was told this was fine.
     I gave him some things to think about.  The size of the school.  City?  Country?  What region of the united states?  I clarified the difference between a degree program and a liberal arts degree.  He said he still want to be an architect.  He also prefers a setting like Colby.  He want to be removed from the city/town.  It was a really great discussion.  It started in the car.  It continued on the beach, overlooking the ocean and waves.
     Of course we talked about the impending Blue moon too.  We drove home and picked out a family movie to watch.  It was a very nice family evening.  So this audible needs a name.  No, not "Omaha.'  "Colby?"  "Mules?"

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Smash Brothers Saves the World

Who would have thought that a video game, especially one with retro characters, could bring about universal peace?  OK.  Way overstated, but for one night, it brought arch rivals Duxbury and Marshfield together.
     I came home from a business trip to a houseful of 16 and 17 year olds.  Caz had organized a Smash Bros Tournament.  It was a $5 buy in.  Winner takes all.  Top Gun rules.  There are no points for second place.
     The first thing I noticed as the line of cars parked on our street.  That is unusual for anyone in our neighborhood.  And for a teenager, that is usually a sure sign that nothing good is going on.  I saw a chalk path, colored into the street.  It proceeded up my driveway, around the back, over the deck and through the bulkhead.  There was even a Do Not Enter sign written in the walkway to the front door.
     Since I had been away, I wanted to say hi to my boys.  I went down stairs and saw a bunch of faces which I didn't recognize.  There was even a girl.  One.  Among all those boys.  The heat, humidity, and body temperature created a disastrous effect.  The stink permeating the room was an evil entity.  That poor girl.  I didn't know how she could stand it.  But teenagers from Duxbury and Marshfield were cheering and laughing.  They were extremely polite.  Quite a few thanked us for letting them come over.  Deluxebury and Marsh Vegas were united in a Smash Bros frenzy.  So it's not world peace.  But it's a start....

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Levitate Recap

The short version = Caz and I had a blast.  This year's edition of the Levitate Music Festival was a huge success all the way around.  In it's third year, attendance has grown from 3K to 4K to this year's 6K.  That is some growth.
     The set up was really nice.  The vendors booths were set up in rows at the back of the venue.  Vendors sold the usual T-shirts, necklaces, health food, natural/organic foods, and the Levitate stand selling surf & skate items.  By those stalls were the food trucks, food stalls, and beer tents.  It was hot so water, beer, and slushes/ice cream were the big ticket items.  Caz and I toured those first thing.  Then we headed to the stage.  This is where it started to get dicey.
     As we got close to the stage, the crowd increased.  I turned my back for one second and lost sight of Caz.  He raised his hand and waved.  He had found some friends.  Although I was happy for him, part of my thought, "Great.  I am getting ditched."  But can you blame him?  He found his peeps.  Go forth and conquer.  He was good about answering texts.  I didn't want to crowd him, but I wanted to see the band.  I tried to stay out of his line of vision.  There was a lot of pot being smoked.  Beer was all around.  As a father, it made me nervous.  But each time I checked in, he answered.
     We ended up getting back together for a late lunch, by the food trucks.  He ended up getting a meatball sub from an old fiend of mine, Coach Bone.  Neither one of them knew the other.  It had been a long time since they had seen each other.  After that we got to use the VIP tickets my friend, Charlie, had procured for us.  Free Island Creak Oysters.  Bonus!  Caz wanted no part of it.  We got a nice view, out of the crowd, in the shade, of the stages.  But then it got better.  Charlie got the all access passes.  We got to go back stage.  Caz got to see the artists up close and personal.  He watched Trombone Shorty's set while resting against the stage.  He was about 6 feet away.  He had a grin on his face the whole time.  It was a great experience for him.  He saw a friend from school in the audience.  That friend was probable closer, being in front the the stage. but was obviously jealous of Caz.  I think that was nice for Caz.  Caz was very polite and thanked Charlie a couple times.  I can't thank Charlie enough.  What a great experience for a kid.  A great Father/Son moment.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Levitate, Baby!

Off to the Levitate Music Festival with Caz today.  Father/Son time.  I am really looking forward to it.  The headliner is Trombone Shorty.  My college buddy is his manager.  He left us VIP/Backstage passes.  Caz will be thrilled.  He has really gotten into Shorty.  I can't wait to see Shorty, but am more excited to see Caz take it all in.

More to come.  I will post about how it all goes.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Table Chat

We have had some really good dinner discussions this week.  Dinner time is truly family time.  We make a point of telling the kids that.  They can't just pass on dinner.  Caz has tried the "I am not hungry" routine.  Tough.  Sit there and converse.  Have a drink of water.  Be social.  You still can't pass dinner time in front of Super Mario Smash Brothers.
     We talked about the New Horizon NASA mission to Pluto.  We talked about the Red Sox.  We talked about current events.  New Horizons was my favorite topic.  The space program doesn't get the respect it deserved.  To think that something launched years ago, is just now reaching it's destination is mind boggling.  The first real pictures of Pluto.  Not a sketch.  Not an artist's interpretation.  Real live photos.  I think the kids got the importance of it.  It's a huge piece of human exploration.
     I love that Demi and I make dinner time the traditional family time it has been.  It's important. As the kids grow older, maybe they will agree.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ticket to ride

One of those moments of truth for Caz.  The new MA state laws prevents newly licensed drivers, under a certain age, from driving passengers who are outside of their immediate family.  At least when Caz gets his license, he can drive his little brother to school.  But I digress.
     Caz has friends who are getting their license.  However, due to that law, they are not in a position to drive the group anywhere.  To some extent, they are still house bound.  They need to rely on their parents for rides.  But that group is testing the waters.  We have already spoken to two of them about adhering to the law.  It is between us for now, but if they push it, the other parents will be brought in.  One parent will ground their kid for life, so I think he got the message.  I just hope Caz heard it too.
     Caz had his own mishap.  He went to the movies with a group of kids.  The driver was just about the exit the period where passengers are limited to family.  Just about.  But not yet.  And that is the point.  The law is the law.  The deadline is the deadline.  If we can't trust Caz to adhere to laws as a passenger, how can we trust him as a driver.  That is the discussion we had with Caz.  He didn't agree but I think he got the point.  He better have.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Family 4th Wedding

Not a 4th wedding, but on the 4th, just for clarification sake.  Our cousin got married at Plimouth Plantation.  It was a great time.  We all had a blast.
     I was really proud of the boys.  The got all dolled up without a fight.  Actually, they both were almost eager.  Caz got a hair cut and picked out new dress pants.  In one trip.  Without a fight.  Coco had his outfit planned for weeks.  Of course that coincided with his semi formal for his 8th grade promotion ceremony.  He eschewed the the fedora this time though.  Caz even busted out his pocket watch.
     They both were really helpful at the ceremony and reception too.  Coco, as usual, played with his cousin Rose.  Actually, it is more of her leading him around by his nose.  He is her personal playground.  Horsie ride.  Check.  Wrestling.  Check.  Punching bag.  Check.  I am not sure if she got him to dance though.  Caz was really awesome.  The Hammer was not a happy Ring Bearer.  You would thing he was bringing the Ring to Mount Doom.  He wanted no part of it.  Caz went over to calm him down.  He tried to help coax him down the aisle.  Demi and I are very proud of both them.  They are good, caring boys.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Drive

Caz is off on his first drive with the Driver' Ed instructor.  He and 2 other boys will be taking turns terrorizing the streets of Duxbury for the next couple of hours.  Sure, I have already driven numerous hours with him.  But this is still a notable first.  This is making it real.  My son will be driving soon.  And I thought learning to walk was a game changer.
     This opens up a whole new world.  All new worries.  All new decisions.  All new rules.  We have already talked to him about his friends, who can drive.  We had hypothesized different dangerous and potentially embarrassing scenarios.  We made the verbal contract with him to pick him up, no questions asked, if he calls for a ride home.  You have to have these talks.  More always follow.  And that is a good thing.  If you ignore it, you do so at your own peril.  Nothing should be taboo.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cyber warfare

Demi and I had to have an all too familiar talk with Coco last night.  All too familiar in that we had the same talke with Caz a few years ago.  The day and age of technology is a boon and a curse.  It is way too easy to access inappropriate websites.  But it is also easier to track and audit usage.  It was really through an accident that we noticed Coco was on a very inappropriate website.  He was using his old iPod Touch.  The kids electronice are hooked into an account owned by me in some fashion.  They are not old enough to have their own.  Clearly.
     Coco took the talk well.  He got a bit angry.  But only because he was embarrased.  I don't think he will be surfing the web in that direction anytime soon.  At least he can't hide the iPod out in the woods....